Social Justice

In 19.5% of households in Scotland with working-age residents no-one living there has work. They are consequently much more likely to be reliant on benefits and living in poverty. 29% of Scottish households (621,000) contain one or more people with a disability or long-term illness. Despite equal pay legislation, women in Scotland earn only the equivalent of 72% of men’s average weekly wage.

The Scottish Green Party believes that a green society is a fair society. We only have one planet and that means that it is not possible for people to continue to consume more and more. Living within the bounds of what the planet can provide us means that we have to share things more equitably. This principle of equality extends not only across rich and poor: it also means respect for all social groups, whether characterised by age, ethnicity, cultural background, religion, sexuality or disability.

Scottish Greens are also committed to the principle of environmental justice, which can be understood as no more than a fair share of the planet’s resources, no less than a decent environment for all. The ‘environment’ in this context is considered in its totality to include the ecological (biological), physical (natural and built), social, political, aesthetic and economic environments. Greater respect for the earth’s resources cannot co-exist with the oppression of one group by another.

Scottish Greens therefore believe in a future in which not only the planet but also all of its inhabitants are put before the interests of profit or the state. Government initiatives can often be over-complex, centralised and bureaucratic and fail to address the root causes of the problems. Problems such as joblessness and homelessness are all too often made worse by the actions (or inaction) of the state. We value the role of the community and voluntary sectors in addressing many of these issues. However, local government still has a central role as a provider of core services and in co-ordinating the efforts of the voluntary sector.

Green MSPs will work for the following:

  • We will introduce a Citizen’s Income Scheme (CIS) to replace many benefits. It will be paid universally to cover the basic needs of life, with supplements paid to pensioners and those with special needs. The rate at which CIS is paid will be determined through extensive research. Costs incurred will be borne from the increased yield from taxes on resource use and pollution and an increase in rates of income tax for higher earners.

  • We will ensure that employers provide greater support for parents, including greater childcare provision, more flexible working practices and the right to work from home where possible. We will replace the compulsory retirement age with provisions to allow older people to reduce their working hours to fit their individual needs.

  • We will work towards ensuring that married and unmarried couples – including same-sex couples – are awarded the same partnership rights in terms of pensions, inheritance, parenting, adoption, asylum, legal protection, etc. We will also recognise the civil registration of partnerships.

  • We recognise the rights of travelling people, and will ensure that their needs and views are taken into account within education and planning systems. We will enable all schools to offer languages reflecting Scotland’s cultural and ethnic diversity, including Gaelic, British Sign Language, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Punjabi, and Chinese languages. 'S e cùis mhòr glèidhteachas cultair a tha ann an adhartachadh na Gàidhlig.

  • We will improve access to additional forms of support for social economy organisations, including training, management consultancy, legal and financial services, and social and environmental auditing services. We will ensure that public funding to the voluntary sector comes with allocations for core running costs, not just project costs.

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Scottish Green Party, PO Box 14080, Edinburgh EH10 6YG
Tel / Fax: 0131 478 7896